For more than 25 years, Esquif has been known for their prowess at building canoes for running rivers and touring lakes. With the goal of making a lighter, more maneuverable, and more transportable boat accessible to families and adventurous pairs, Esquif unveiled their Scout tandem canoe at Canoecopia 2023.
“We’ve had a lot of success with our Adirondack model,” shares David Hadden of Esquif Canoes. “And everyone said, ‘Hey can you do a boat like that but in a tandem model?’ What that means is people really seem to like the boat because it’s very predictable and very easy to paddle.”
Introducing The Esquif Scout
The Adirondack is a lightweight and versatile solo canoe. It has been Esquif’s bestselling design and was the winner of the “Best Canoe” category in the 2022 Paddling Magazine Industry Awards. A tough act for Esquif to follow.
To meet the challenge posed by their audience, Esquif brought to form the Scout. Made of Esquif’s T-Formex plastic, the Scout is 14 feet, six inches long, 39 inches wide and weighs just 59 pounds. The Scout is a manageable, shorter tandem intended to be predictable and easy to both paddle and get on and off the car.
Although the Scout is shorter than other tandem models in the Esquif lineup, its width and 13-inch depth achieve enough roominess to accommodate the needs of sportsmen and families—providing plenty of volume for whatever paddlers might want to bring along, from fishing tackle to their furry friend.
Transportability Meets Design
Don’t mistake transportability and ease of paddling for sacrifices in other design aspects, though. On the contrary, Esquif had to be deliberate in their design to achieve the performance they sought in a boat the size of the Scout.
“You’ll see the ends of the boat are still fairly sharp, so it’s going to track nicely in the water. It’s not going to plow through the water like your average 39-inch-wide boat,” Hadden explains as he walks us through the design of the Esquif Scout.
“There is an inch and a half of rocker in the boat, so the boat will turn, and it can be used on a river and have some nice maneuverability,” Hadden adds. “But you’ll see it has a small keel, and the keel combined with the hull design is going to allow it to track straight. It tracks nicely for a shorter boat.”
The blend of rocker for rivers and keel for flatwater tracking gives the Scout the versatility to make it an all-in-one canoe fitting a compact design.
Family-Friendly and Built Tough
How does Esquif build a durable, reasonably lightweight canoe like the Scout while keeping it at a manageable cost?
The Scout is constructed of Esquif’s T-Formex, an ABS-based laminate the company markets as indestructible. The material took Esquif seven years of on-the-job development following the canonized end of beloved Royalex plastic. Royalex was an industry standard laminate that had been used in canoes since the 60s. It was prized especially among the whitewater and recreational crowds for its ability to take a beating and hold shape.
In 2014, the company producing Royalex material closed its doors. Esquif was a heavy proponent of Royalex. At the time, 90 percent of their lineup used the material. Esquif was forced to briefly cease production while they sought a formidable alternative. Some canoe brands began making rotomolded polyethylene boats. Esquif took a shot at their laminate answer and resumed production in 2015 using T-Formex.
Esquif has been building their canoes with T-Formex ever since, continuing to do so with the Scout. Using a lighter layup of T-Formex, Esquif can produce boats like the Scout and Adirondack, which maintain the durability and shape the material is known for at a lower weight.
To round out the design, the interior of the Scout features webbed seats and a sculpted yoke for comfortable portaging. The gunwales are vinyl with the option of upgrading to wood.
The Esquif Scout is available for orders now and will start to ship on April 1, 2023.
Esquif Scout Specifications
Length: 14’6” / 442 cm
Width: 39” / 99 cm
Depth: 13” / 33 cm
Weight: 59 lbs / 26.76 kg
Capacity: 850 lbs / 385.55 kg
MSRP: $2,229 CAD
Learn more about the Scout by visiting Esquif.